to represent pain, suffering, terror, horror, decay, death,
ugliness, that exists in life, without devaluing life? Without
turning away from life. Without learning to love life less.
Artists everywhere want something more than the money-grubbing
shock value, horror film, sex & violence saturated esthetic
that permeates entertainment. But they want their dose of
reality, too. I love the beautiful dreamy images of Chagall,
but could he give you the same sweet meaning and feeling
of mystery and beauty with images that didn't ignore images
of the horrific? Seems far more difficult. Anyone can ignore
the bad and emphasize the good (and vice versa). But finding
the genuinely good in all of the bad, while still showing
the bad, is the trick. I think Chagall found the good without
ignoring the bad, and that is why his images instill such
profound feelings, and not just airy fairy fantasies. But
since he didn't feel it necessary to show the bad, you don't
really know how he did it or whether he actually did it.
After all, it's just easier to feel good about pretty pictures
than with images that try to tackle the existence of unimaginable
suffering and the profoundly ugly. Creating, seeing beauty
where no one else sees it is the artist's true calling.
It makes life more worth living. Great art makes everyone's
life more worth living. (To see more works by Charles Schick
and Regina BartKoff, see the Artpig
Retrospective of their past exhibits and performances.)"